How to Save Money on Appliances for your Home and Kitchen

Home Appliance Buying Guide

Whether you live in a city high-rise or a quiet suburban home, keeping these few tips in mind when shopping for home and kitchen appliances in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania will help you avoid breaking your budget and get the most value for your dollar!
Check for mail in and instant rebates. Many manufacturers, retailers, and state governments are offering rebates to entice customers into purchasing specific appliances. Appliance brands such as JennAir, GE, GE Monogram, and Thermador are offering attractive rebates that can save you thousands on a kitchen appliance package. Some are even offering free dishwashers with purchase of select appliances! State governments, for instance NJ, are offering mail in and instant rebates that can total up to $200. For especially keen savings, look for an appliance retailer that offers exclusive mail in rebates.
Look for package pricing. Many appliance stores, including Karl’s in New Jersey, offer special pricing when purchasing two or more appliances. Coupled with instant and mail in rebates this can add up to big savings of home appliances! Make sure you ask for package pricing if you think it may apply to your purchase…or maybe now is time to upgrade that other old appliance in your home too.
Sales taxes are ever increasing with some areas in the country at almost 9%. Often, if you purchase from an appliance retailer outside of the state you reside in you can avoid paying sales tax which can be a great way to save hundreds. Check your states laws however, as some if not all states require you to report the purchases you did not pay sales tax on and pay when filing your state income tax return.
Choose retailer wisely. You may get a great price but if the delivery is not what you need (some retailers will just drop an item at your curb), then the savings may cost you more in the long run. Karl’s Appliance, for instance, offers inside delivery to at least a garage nationwide and white glove delivery including removal of old disconnected appliances is standard locally in New York and New Jersey.

Cooking Appliance Care and Cleaning Guide

Cleaning Kitchen Appliances

We at Karl’s Appliance have been selling cooking appliances for many, many years. In fact, Karl’s was founded in 1941 – nearly seven decades ago!

We find our customers often have questions about cleaning their cooking appliances. In this article we will attempt to answer the question “What is the best way to care for my new range, stove, cooktop, oven, or other cooking appliance?”

First, always wait until the appliance has cooled before cleaning. Aside from the obvious danger of getting burned, many cleaners will create an unpleasant odor when used on hot surfaces. Here are some other tips that we have found are useful:

General Cooking Appliance Cleaning Tips:

• Do not use abrasive cleaners. These may permanently scratch stainless steel surfaces.
• Some cooking liquids as well as salt may “pit” or stain cooking surfaces. Remove these spills immediately.
• Use a spray degreaser to remove grease and fingerprints. Spray onto a cloth first and wipe clean immediately to avoid streaking.
• To clean stainless steel surfaces use a soft, nonabrasive stainless steel cleaner and apply with a soft, lint-free cloth. Follow by lightly wiping the surface with dampened microfiber cloth. Next, follow by polishing with a dry chamois. When wiping stainless steel surfaces always the direction of the grain and keep the cloth in continuous contact with the surface.

Cooking Ranges Cleaning Tips:

• For best results, wipe up spills and splatters immediately after the appliance has cooled. If they are allowed to “cook on,” they may permanently damage or stain the unit.
• To remove hard water stains use white vinegar and water.
• Use caution when using caustic spray cleaners. These may damage adjacent parts and finishes. Protect adjacent parts by masking them off to avoid potential damage by overspray.
• Avoid using spray cleaners on control knobs and igniters. Damage can occur to these sensitive parts if they get wet.
• If in doubt about using a specific cleaner check the label on the bottle. To test the cleaner use on a small, inconspicuous area of the appliance first.
• Never wipe a hot or even warm porcelain surface with a damp sponge as it may cause chipping or crazing. Crazing creates tiny hairlike cracks in the porcelain.
• Hand wash all decorative parts including knobs, grates, burner caps, and the like. Many claim to be dishwasher safe however, better to err on the side of caution and clean these by hand with a gentle detergent.

Cleaning Porcelain Enamel Burner Pans:

• Do not use abrasive cleaners as these will permanently scratch the surface. Use a clean sponge or cloth and wipe the surface with warm water and a mild detergent. Rinse and dry immediately.

Cleaning Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Burner Grates:

• Remove grates and clean with in hot water with a paste of baking soda and water or with a nonabrasive cleaner such as liquid detergent. Spray cleaners or mild abrasive cleaners may also be used.

Cleaning Porcelain Enamel Burner Caps:

• Remove caps and wash in warm water with a liquid detergent or mild abrasive cleaner. Rinse and dry.

Cleaning Control Knobs and Bezels:

• Remove from range (if possible – check owners manual) and clean with a mild detergent and warm water. Rinse and dry. Do not soak or use abrasive cleaners as they may scratch the surface or remove markings. Do not clean in dishwasher.

Cleaning Control Panels:

• Use a spray degreaser and cloth to clean these surfaces. Spray cleaner onto cloth and then wipe panel. Do not spray directly onto these surfaces to avoid damage of sensitive parts.

Cleaning Porcelain Enamel Oven Interiors:

• Never clean a hot or even warm porcelain surface as this can cause chipping or crazing.
• Clean spills and splatters immediately after oven cools. Do not allow foods with high acid contents to remain on porcelain enamel surfaces. Foods with high acid content include: fruit juices, pie filling, tomatoes, sauerkraut, milk, and tomatoes. Leaving these spills on the surface for prolonged periods can create permanent dull spots.
• Use only not abrasive cleaners and scrubbers.
• If equipped, the oven or ranges self cleaning cycle may be used.

Cleaning Oven Racks and Rack Guides:

• Always remove racks and guides before using the self clean feature. In most cases racks and guides are not self clean friendly. Racks can discolor and bearings in guides may seize.
• Clean racks and guides with warm water and mild detergent.

Cleaning Heat Tempered Glass Oven Doors:

• Clean only when cool.
• Use a razor blade to remove and gently lift off bakes on foods.
• Clean both sides (inside and outside) with glass cleaner.

Cleaning Oven Gasket:

• Do not hand clean the oven gasket. Doing so may compromise the tight door seal.

Cleaning a Porcelain Enamel Boiler Pan:

• Place the broiler pan in the sink while still slightly warm. Lay dish towels on the pan and pour very hot water on the towels. Allow steam to soften cooked on food residue. Remove towels and wash with warm water and mild detergent. Rinse and dry.

Whirlpool and Maytag Front Load and Top Load Washers are Top Rated

Whirlpool Vantage WTW7990X

A leading “Consumer Magazine” has published a report about the best washing machines in the top load and front load categories. Whirlpool and Maytag both held top honors. The tests took into consideration performance, capacity, energy efficiency and cost. In both front load and top load washer categories, Whirlpool was rated #1 with Maytag close behind.

The top ranked Top Loading Washing Machine was Whirlpool Vantage model WTW7990X. Several of the Whirlpool Cabrio and Maytag Bravos washers also made the best of top load washer list. For the front load category the Whirlpool Duet model WFW94HEX was rated best front loading washing machine. Several other Whirlpool Duet models as well as Maytag Maxima series washers made the list. The reports are in Whirlpool and Maytag laundry have come out on top. These washers are a great value and their performance and reliability can’t be beat.

Steam Dishwasher Features and Benefits

Steam Dishwasher

Most people by now have heard of using steam in their washers and dryers, but did you know they also make dishwashers that utilize steam? Steam dishwashers are designed to provide a deep cleaning without pre rinsing, sanitize dishes, and also gently clean fine china. This article will explain how and why steam dishwashers work.

Steam dishwashers work by using highly pressurized, high temperature steam to break the bond of hardened food on your dishes, glasses, and silverware. Steam is able to clean so effectively mainly because it can get so hot. When water reaches 212 f it turns to steam. The steam can continue to heat up beyond that point which is why it is so effective at sanitizing things. When water turns to steam, it also expands and covers a lot more space. This allows a tiny bit of water to produce enough steam to clean your dishes even better than a traditional dishwasher. Steam also eliminates the need to use harsh or harmful chemicals on your dishes. Because only water is needed to produce steam, you save money on energy and detergent cost.

Traditional dishwashers often require you to rinse or scrub your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher to make sure they get clean. This time and effort really takes the convenience out of owning a dishwasher. With steam, no pre rinse is necessary. The steam can break down even the toughest baked on food. When steam is generated, it is absorbed by the food which essentially rehydrates it and allows to be easily rinsed off. The high temperature of the steam also kills the bacteria and sanitizes your dishes. Steam is also perfect for your fine china and crystal. As opposed to a traditional dishwasher, no heavy, direct sprays are needed and the steam gently cleans delicate items.

There are a few different steam variations to look for when purchasing a new steam dishwasher. Be sure to look at whether the model you are interested in uses a dedicated steam generation unit or whether it heats water in the tub to produce steam. The dedicated steam can release steam at the right point during various cycles, while steam heated from water generally is used for pre wash or finishing cycles. Another thing to look for is which cycles have the ability to use steam. Some can incorporate steam into various wash cycles, while some dishwashers only use a steam pre wash.

While steam technology in dishwashers is still in its infancy, the benefits are clear. You can save time, money, and energy by using steam in dishwashers.

Front Load Washers – What Makes them Better?

One question we repeatedly hear from customers is “What makes a front load washer better than a top load washer and why would I want to spend the extra money on one?” While front load washers may not be for everyone, most consumers and the environment will benefit from purchasing a horizontal access washer.

Front load washing machines offer a number of significant improvements:

Capacity. Capacities average 4.0 Cu. Ft. and go all the way to 4.7 Cu. Ft. These large capacity tubs are 25-30 percent larger than the average top load washer and fit king size comforters! Imagine eliminating trips to the Laundromat for those large items and reducing loads of laundry by 25%. Most customers are amazed by the cost and time savings these capacities afford. Spend time with your family not your laundry appliances!

Clothes Care. By design, the cleaning action of a front load clothes washer is gentler on clothing than traditional top load washing machines. Customers find that clothing looks newer and lasts longer when washed in a front load machine. This is a tremendous benefit – most people do not realize how much they spend on clothing – as the average load of clothes often costs more than the washer that is cleaning them!

Superior Cleaning Action. Movement through water and the chemical action of detergents clean clothes. Front-Load washers move clothing in and out of the water more often per cycle compared to top loading machines. The result is simple – improved stain removal.

Conservation. Most, if not all, front loaders are Energy Star rated. They earn because they use about half the amount of electricity and up to a third the amount of water. The reduction of electricity and water usage not only helps the environment but some estimates show that the clothes washer can pay for itself over its lifespan with reduced utility bills.

Bottom Line: A front load washer may be a great way for you to save time, money, and the environment. The additional up-front expense may even be recuperated in water and energy costs, cleaner and longer lasting clothing, and time savings.

Maytag Front Load Washing Machine

Dishwasher Care and Cleaning Guide

Dishwasher in NJ

First, never use harsh chemicals, sharp objects, or abrasive pads to clean the outside of your dishwasher. Using these can cause damage, scratching, or permanent discoloration that will not be covered under a manufacturer warranty.

For cleaning control panels, use only a mild detergent and damp cloth and dry quickly and thoroughly.

To clean black, white, or bisque colored dishwasher doors use a high quality home appliance polish wax. Theses waxes are specially formulated for use on kitchen appliances and will clean and give a beautiful shine to the finish as well as leave a protective coating that will help guard against future smudges.

For cleaning stainless steel doors, purchase a high quality stainless steel cleaner. These are designed to polish and protect stainless steel surfaces and remove fingerprints, food stains, and water marks. You will also find that they can leave a beautiful shine and protective finish. Regular use of these cleaners maintains the appearance and makes future cleaning simple. Always use a soft and clean cloth with any cleaner unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer’s instructions.

Interior of the Dishwasher:

Clean the interior or your dishwasher, as necessary, with a paste of powdered dishwasher detergent and water or straight liquid dishwasher on a damp sponge. Always wait to the dishwasher has cooled down to room temperature prior interior cleaning.

For white spots or films from hard water, use white vinegar. Note to use vinegar sparingly as vinegar is an acid and using it too often could cause damage to the dishwasher. Put 2 cups or 500 mL of white vinegar in a glass or dishwasher safe measuring cup on the bottom rack. Run the dishwasher through a full wash cycle without using any detergent and make sure to choose the air-dry only (note that this be referred to as something else but it is important to turn off heated dry). The vinegar will mix with the water and help to break down any of these residues that may be on the walls of the dishwasher interior. Upon cooling, follow up with the dishwasher detergent cleaning method described above.

Cleaning of Air Gaps

An air gap assists with the draining of the water at the end of a wash cycle. Not all installations require this so your home may or may not have one. If you do have one, periodically check to make sure this is clean and allows unobstructed air-flow especially if you feel your machine is having difficulty draining properly.

Long Term Storage

If you will not be using your dishwasher for extended periods of time you should follow these procedures:

During Warm Weather Months – during warmer months when there is no risk of freezing temperatures it is advised that you turn off the water and power supply to the dishwasher.

During Cold Weather Months – in times when freezing temperatures are a possibility, it is suggested that you avoid potential water damage by having your dishwasher winterized by authorized service personnel.

Microwave Oven Buying Guide Part 2

True Built In Microwaves

A true Built In Microwave Oven is designed to mimic the appearance of a wall oven. A built in microwave is often installed directly over a wall oven to give the appearance of a double wall oven. This allows for a more professional look in your kitchen where the microwave goes unnoticed. Built In Microwaves also have the capability to be installed under the counter to maximize usable space in your kitchen, and place the microwave in a spot where everyone can access it.Built In Microwaves typically offer higher end features, larger capacity, and are available in most finishes including Stainless Steel, Black, and White. Built In Microwaves come in 3 sizes – 24″, 27″ and 30″.

Average Price Points: $700 to $2,000

Bottom Line:Built In Microwaves are a more specialized type of appliance typically reserved for applications such as a complete kitchen or cabinet redo. They are much more permanent than other microwaves and are typically bought to match a new wall oven or other appliance.

Jenn Air Built In Microwave

Microwave Drawers

Microwave Drawers are a new style of microwave oven that are becoming extremely popular. Microwave drawers offer convenience, style, and a fair price. These microwaves are installed below the countertop and operate the way a normal drawer does. The drawer opens by pushing or pulling the handle, and once open the drawer can accomodate large and tall items easily. The built in style of these appliances allows you to keep the microwave out of sight and also in a convenient spot. Microwave Drawers are becoming more common now and are available from manufacturers including Sharp, Wolf, Dacor, and Viking.

Average Price Points: $700 to $1,500

Bottom Line:The microwave drawer is a popular option in new construction and in remodels because of its convenience and space saving design.

Microwave Drawer in Stainless Steel

Built In Microwaves with Trim Kits

A more common type of built in microwave is actually a countertop microwave that is combined with a trim kit to fit in a cutout in the wall or cabinetry to achieve a built in look at a lower price point. There are certain counter top microwaves that are designed for these applications available from most manufacturers including GE, Sharp, Viking, and Wolf. In addition to the microwave you must also purchase the trim kit at an additional cost. These trim kits allow a seamless installation into openings of 24″, 27″ or 30″. This type of built in microwave is also commonly used above a single wall oven to fit the cutout left by a pre existing double wall oven.

Average Price Points: $200 to $800

Bottom Line:Built In Microwave Ovens with Trim Kits are a cost effective and easy way to build in your microwave and conserve counter space.

Dacor Microwave with Built In Trim Kit

SpeedCook Ovens

Speedcook Ovens are a new style of appliance that combines different cooking options into one appliance that can cook food up to 4 times faster than a conventional oven. By combining microwave and convection cooking into one appliance you can cook oven quality food in a short time normally achieved only by microwaves. Some speedcook ovens such as the GE Advantium also use a halogen light that cooks delicous food quickly with no need to preheat. SpeedCook ovens can be used as a normal microwave as well.

Average Price Points: $1400 to $3000

Bottom Line:A speedcook oven is a must if you enjoy cooking, but have little time to do so. This appliance can be used as your normal microwave and oven.

Advantium Oven by GE Monogram

Microwave Oven Buying Guide Part 1

Getting Started:: Are you in the market for a new microwave? If you need a more powerful microwave or need to replace an existing microwave, this is the perfect place to start. Not only are there different styles and sizes, there are also different ways that microwaves can be installed. This guide will help you choose
which microwave oven is right for you.

Microwave Types

Countertop Microwaves

Countertop Microwaves are as the name says, microwaves that are designed to placed on your counter or other flat surface. This is the most common type of microwave oven you will run into in offices and dorm rooms as well as the finest kitchen. This type of microwave is the perfect choice for customers that do not require the oven to be built in or require the microwave for venting purposes above a cooking appliance. Countertop Microwaves range in sizes from 0.6 cu ft all the way to 3.0 cu ft. This type of microwave comes in all colors including black, white, stainless steel, and bisque. Some of these models can also be used with a trim kit to achieve a built in look or an undercounter mounting bracket. This type of application will be discussed in the built in microwaves section below.

Average Price Points:$60 to $500

Bottom Line:The countertop microwave is the most common type of microwave. They are
available with a range of features and there is a model available in every price range.

Countertop Microwave in Stainless Steel
Over the Range Microwaves

Over the Range Microwave Ovens are designed with conserving space in mind. An Over the Range Microwave takes the place of two appliances, a microwave, and a ventilation hood, and combines them into one efficient appliance.
Over the Range Microwaves are designed to be installed above your gas or electric range or cooktop. They function as normal microwave does, but also have a built in exhaust fan to expel smoke and odors while you are cooking. Over the Range microwaves can vent exhaust directly outside or also filter and recirculate the air, so be sure to check the model you are buying and what venting capabilities you have in your home. Over the Range microwaves come in all appliance colors, and can be found with different features including convection, and sensor cooking.

Average Price Points: $199 to $999

Bottom Line: Over the Range microwaves are great for apartments, smaller kitchens, and
many other applications. These appliances are a great way to conserve counter space and get necessary ventilation all in
one appliance.

GE Stainless Steel Over the Range Microwave

Why Buy Franke KSD Sinks Part 2 – Fireclay Sinks

Franke Fireclay sinks are all crafted by hand, and many are crafted by world famous ceramic firm Villeroy and Boch who have been making fine ceramic for over 260 years. These sinks are both beautiful and functional and make a welcome addition to any kitchen.

Franke Double Bowl Fireclay Farmhouse sink

Fireclay Sinks are made by injecting liquid ceramic into porous plaster molds at high pressure. When not quite dry, the fragile pieces are smoothed with coarse and smooth sponges to create an even surface. The drain and sink holes are then punched out according to the individual design of the sink. The sink is then dried at room temperature for several days before a final drying in the dryer reaches a maximum temperature of 160 degrees for 40 hours.

After the sink is dry, it is fired in a kiln at 2,200 degrees for 20 hours before the craftsman makes the final inspections. The sink is tested to stringent guidelines using calibrated testing equipment. The sink is then carefully packed to prevent damage during transport.

As you can see, a lot goes into making one finely crafted Franke KSD fireclay sink. Other benfits fireclay sinks offer you are extremely hard, scratch resistant hygienic surface, durability, resistance to staining, less cleaning time, and insensitivity to acids and alkalis. For all your Franke KSD needs on the web please visit Karl’s Appliance

Why Buy Franke Sinks Part 1 – Luxury Stainless Steel Sinks

Are you looking for a new sink to finish off your new kitchen? Look no further than luxury stainless steel sinks from Franke. Here are some of the reasons that make Franke the “luxury” sink.

Seventy percent of the world’s sinks are made of stainless steel. The fact of the matter is that not all stainless steel is created equal. Franke is the largest purchaser of stainless steel in the world, which gives them access to their choice of the world’s best materials. Franke sinks are made of stainless that ranges from 16 to 20 gauge. Gauge refers to the thickness of the stainless steel on a scale of 8 (thickest) to 30 (thinnest). Franke bases their choice of gauge on what is best fitted to their manufacturing process. This range of thickness is perfectly suited to their “deep draw” technique of using a single sheet of metal to produce a sink to reduce the welding marks.

Franke Stainless Steel Under Mount Sink
Sustainability and Eco Friendliness are also of extreme importance to Franke. Eco friendly stainless steel is 100% recyclable. Franke stainless steel is made up of nearly 70% recycled material. Much of the world’s stainless steel comes from low cost countries, but Franke chooses to get their stainless steel at a higher cost from countries such as Germany, Spain, Belgium, and Finland. These manufacturers take pride in the fact that they are using recycled stainless steel.
Franke sinks are all fabricated by hand. The joints are all welded together and then a molten material is applied to further achieve a perfect joint. This is the Franke difference. For multi bowl configurations, each bowl is circle welded to the frame, not seam welded. This prevents any unsightly weld seams from showing on the center of the sink. Most stainless steel sinks come pre polished. Franke sinks achieve their silky luster by hand finishing each sink so they keep their beauty over a long period of time. This luxurious ultra satin surface also makes the Stainless Steel easier to clean.

Stay tuned here for part 2 discussing Franke Fireclay sinks. For all your Franke needs on the web be sure to visit Karl’s Appliance.